Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/442

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420
SPINOZA.

She laid the pearls down, and paced the chamber thoughtfully. Again she stood before the mirror and gazed into it dreamily and absently. She saw herself, pining, ragged, muddy and laughed at, go through the streets; she only banished this maddening vision with a forced song. When her father heard her so gay he entered the room.

"Kerkering," said he, "is waiting outside; he will not move from the spot until he receives the decisive 'Yes' or 'No.' I believe I know your thoughts. I will not try to influence your decision, but I may be able to help you. Come with me."

Olympia clung to her father as if in childlike obedience and humility, and intimated that she complied with his wishes; in this compliance lay a half-unconscious obstinacy, thinly covered by an appearance of humility. Her father took her hand, and led her into the other room to Kerkering, saying:

"Here I bring your bride, my son."

Kerkering took a diamond ring from his finger, and placed it on Olympia's.

"Mine forever!" he said, and impressed a warm kiss on her lips. In the same hour that Spinoza struggled with the temptations of a life of honor and pleasure Olympia also had fought with temptation and succumbed.

Kerkering and his bride sat that evening in confidential discourse, Van den Ende rubbed his